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Cumbernauld firefighters bring joy to kids with spina bifida

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 15:51 GMT on Thursday, May 16th, 2013.

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Picture is copyright of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

CUMBERNAULD firefighters, alongside other North Lanarkshire crews have opened their hearts to pitch in and held build a swing specially designed for kids with the spina bifida condition.

Youngsters with the developmental disorder often have physical complications such as paralysis, leg weakness, club foot, hip dislocation and scoliosis – meaning something as simple as a swing has to be specially engineered for their use.

When the Craighalbert Centre in Craigmarloch ran into problems constructing the complex equipment, firefighters from nearby Cumbernauld Community Fire Station donated months of their time to build the swing and ensure kids in their community could benefit.

Watch Commander David Moore explained: “We were contacted by Andy Wynd, the chief executive of the Scottish Spina Bifida Association, who told us about a project to build the specially-designed equipment. It was apparent right from the start that this was not going to be straightforward.

“The location looked like a building site and we had to start by pumping water out from the foundations, then every hole on the large timber and metal brackets had to be re-drilled as none of them aligned.

“All the bolts and fixings had to be cut to size then we found the swing was just too heavy to be lifted upright – so one of the firefighters enlisted the help of a friend with a truck.”

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The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crew recently saw the swing officially opened for use, with representatives from charity Wooden Spoon – who contributed to the cost – attending the unveiling.

Watch Commander Moore added: “It was an incredibly worthwhile and rewarding project to be involved in, and I know all the firefighters took great pleasure in seeing something like this happen in our their community.

“There were challenging moments but when we encountered difficulties there was always something to spur us on to complete the project.

“The sad death of one of the young people who uses the Craighalbert Centre brought home the importance of giving these kids something to enjoy, so seeing the swing completed and available for them to use was a very proud moment.” 

For information on spina bifida as well as help and support available for carers of those with the condition, visit the Scottish Spina Bifida Association website at

Working with over 3,000 registered users throughout Scotland, the charity seeks to increase public awareness and understanding of individuals with spina bifida and allied conditions, helping those affected to make informed choices and decisions.

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